'Seaman's manslaughter' at issue in appeals court case arising from 2010 BP disaster in Gulf

Associated Press

A federal appeals court is set to decide whether to reinstate some of the charges against two BP employees in a manslaughter case arising from the death of 11 workers in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine were indicted on 22 manslaughter counts in connection with the 11 deaths. Both have pleaded not guilty.

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U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. last year threw out 11 counts of "seaman's manslaughter" against the two. He said the charges exceeded the intended scope of the statute in connection with their job duties.

Federal prosecutors appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel heard arguments Tuesday. There is no indication when they will rule.